The preliminary finding by a subcommittee of the D.C. Bar’s Board on Professional Responsibility means Giuliani and his legal team will have to file additional briefs detailing his defense and his role in the lawsuit, as officials consider what discipline he should face. Robert C. Bernius, the panel’s chairman, said after a private 15-minute discussion Thursday that the finding was “preliminary and nonbinding.”
Hamilton “Phil” Fox III, the lead prosecuting attorney for the D.C. Bar’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel, told the board that Giuliani’s conduct “calls for only one sanction, and that’s the sanction of disbarment.”
“What Mr. Giuliani did was use his law license to undermine the legitimacy of a presidential election, to undermine the basic premise of the democratic system that we all live in, that has been in place since the 1800s in this country,” Fox said.
“Mr. Giuliani has testified on several occasions that he believes there was a conspiracy,” said D.C. Bar counsel Phil Fox, who investigated and argued the case for Giuliani’s punishment. “There was a conspiracy, and he was the head of it.”
Fox’s case relied on Giuliani’s rushed effort to file lawsuits to throw out hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania votes without any direct evidence of election fraud. Giuliani testified about his hurried drive to Pennsylvania on Nov. 4 in a car with former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to challenge the Pennsylvania election results and to begin spreading discredited claims that the election had been stolen.
“It is a typical, unethical, cheap attack,” Giuliani said of Fox’s presentation, reiterating his contention that there’s a legitimate case that the 2020 election was stolen. “I’ll put my work on democracy … up against Mr. Fox and anyone else. For that man to engage in that kind of a personal attack when there was no record of that, and for you to allow him to do that, I consider an outrage. I don’t know what has happened to the defense of lawyers who take on unpopular causes,” Giuliani continued.
“Why not treat Mr. Giuliani like any other lawyer,” Giuliani’s attorney John Leventhal said.
Giuliani testified that, at first, he played only a limited role in crafting the lawsuit, contributing a few sentences aimed at setting the case up to be potentially consolidated with other lawsuits across the country that the Trump campaign was contemplating bringing. However, after other attorneys on the case sought to withdraw from it, Giuliani ultimately argued the case in front of a federal judge, claiming there there was “widespread, nationwide voter fraud” and that Democrats had plotted to steal the election in Pennsylvania.